The MENA region is one of the few regions in the world where renewable energy investment seems to be weathering the global economic crisis. New investment in renewables in the region totaled USD 2.9 billion in 2012, an increase of almost 40% over 2011 and a 6.5-fold increase from 2004.
The development of the region’s renewable energy sector saw heightened investor interest from 2009 to 2012, best illustrated by the entrance of some of the world’s largest energy players, especially national and international oil and gas companies, into the solar market.
Solar has seen the highest average annual growth in power generation in the region
Wind comes second with average annual growth of 27%, almost five times higher than fossil fuels, while remaining in first
place in terms of total non-hydro renewable installed capacity.
In terms of absolute numbers, hydropower remains the primary renewable energy source for power generation in the region today.
The share of renewable energy reached 3.3%, an increase of 0.4% percentage points, over the same period. While this may be seen as small progress, it must be noted that renewable power generation gained shares over conventional power sources despite a strong growth in electricity demand, which makes this growth meaningful and worth highlighting.